UEFA EURO 2016 was a global phenomenon. From 10 June to 10 July, 24 countries, 51 matches, 10 host cities, 2.4 million stadium spectators – the EURO had always been among the largest sporting events in the world, but never on this scale.
We would partner France in hosting this great festival of football. Unity, rivalry, authenticity, festivity, intensity, excellence and passion; core brand values that almost transcend sport. Passion, in particular, is what stood out at EURO 2016.
In addition to the traditional, physical Fanzones that would be in each host city across France, we wanted to engage with fans across the world by delivering a digital experience that would bring them close to the tournament, regardless of their location.
In a modern digital landscape, fans expect more from their tournament experience. They have a wealth of information and choice at their fingertips and in this case, access to numerous non-UEFA products related to EURO 2016.
Fantasy Football games are a tried and tested format, but rarely does an opportunity come along to complement them with such a volume of official content and data.
Live feeds, background information, news, training reports, rich media, statistics, analysis… our content would be unmatched. Our challenge was to truly integrate the gaming experience with this content to create an unrivalled EURO 2016 fan engagement.
Our main objectives were to:
- Get the highest sign-ups to a Fantasy game we have ever had
- Reduce the drop-out rate, which tends to be high in knock-out competitions
- Increase visits to the games and time spent on them
- Deliver high exposure and engagement to the sponsor
Our strategy was to use our exclusive access to official statistics and data to create an enhanced gaming experience, integrating this seamlessly with the overall EURO2016.com experience.
- Target both the avid Fantasy football gamer and casual gamer wanting an easy but fun gaming experience
- Focus on mobile devices and simplify a user experience and UI that works best on a small screen
- Launch the game early to allow increased awareness and promotion to be effective
- Better integration of our official data to make our editorial content work harder
- Give the game a human element for users to relate to
- Better integration on UEFA EURO 2016 digital platforms
Avid Fantasy football gamers know the classic concept well. They are passionate and committed. All they need is a high-availability game that works. And, of course, anything that helps them do what they need to do fast… better still if something helps them get an edge over their competitors.
We wanted to offer more, and for a wider audience. We did this by creating two alternatives to appeal to gamers with different needs, Fantasy’16 & Daily 7s. By doing this we catered for both the avid fantasy football fan and the casual gamer.
Our Fantasy ’16 had all the features that fanatic Fantasy football fans expect to keep them going for the length of the competition. We strategically launched the game before the draw had even been made to ensure that the more eager fans could set up provisional teams quickly and those interested in playing in private leagues could begin inviting their friends.
In addition to the standard Fantasy football features, we invested more effort to ensure this passionate gamer-base was well-served. So we worked hard to improve our content offering and introduced a few elements:
- Considerable work went into improving the on-boarding experience of gamers, especially on mobile devices when setting up their teams
- Reworking the player valuation and points-scoring logic to make the game more accessible yet keeping it balanced to retain the competitiveness among the fans
- Introducing integration with our bespoke player rankings system, the Player Barometer, to help gamers select players who performed well. To make the game more interesting we introduced dynamic player pricing which was based on their barometer ranking i.e. their performance
- Improved user interfaces by simplifying them to reduce clutter, provide clear sign-posting and only display information and actions that corresponded to the changing game phases
- Introduced a significantly improved live points experience when the games were taking place
- Integrated several information and content features to help gamers make the best possible choices for their fantasy teams. This included up to date player injury and suspension information; expert analysis and advisory pieces from dedicated editors
- Key areas on UEFA EURO 2016 website and apps incorporated personalised Fantasy’16 cards that displayed temporally relevant information to each gamer
We knew there were significant numbers of casual gamers who wanted an easy, fun gaming experience to play with their friends. For these gamers, we developed a new daily game: Daily 7’s.
This activation was designed to be simple and only required a little daily interaction from the gamer. With the daily concept, if a gamer missed setting up their team one day, they didn’t feel penalised for that.
The Daily 7’s premise was simple: select any 7 players you think will perform the best on the day and you earn points based on each player’s performance. The player selection interface was very intuitive and tested to make it a short, easy experience.
Similar to Fantasy’16, Daily 7's cards appeared with temporally relevant information on key traffic areas on UEFA EURO 2016 website and mobile apps.
Once their team was set up, the gamers could then challenge their friends or even one of the famous football players from the past.
Our Fantasy 16’ and Daily 7’s games were a huge success, with over 1.5 million registered gamers. We had over 1.7 million app downloads worldwide and nearly 300,000 private leagues.
We greatly exceeded our targets. By engaging with fans early and keeping their attention throughout the tournament, we delivered a truly outstanding, integrated digital gaming experience.